Ahobilam – The Adventurous Pilgrimage

12.12.2016:

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There is a pathway onto the left side of the Ahobila Narasimha Swami temple which leads us to the Jwala Narasimha Swami temple on the top of the hill. After ascending a few steps we saw a waterfall, though it doesn’t have much water, I can imagine the flow in it during the monsoons. The waterfall is formed by the River Bhavanaashini which carves its’ way through the jungles. Watch out your steps while walking on the wooden bridge over the waterfall that leads to the trek path, as the bridge was partially broken and a leg can go through those patches!

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The path is covered with dense foliage and many trees all the way. Adding to this was the Vanara Sena (the monkey population). This place is full of monkeys and be careful if you are carrying water bottles, food items and your cameras with you. One careless moment, they can snatch anything from you! After a short while, we came across the Varaha (Krodha) Narasimha Swamy temple, which is on a raised platform, but the idol of the God here, which is also a self manifest is in a small cave. The idol here faces upwards towards his left and the Goddess Lakshmi sits on his left shoulder holding one of his tusks. After a small prayer, we left the temple.

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There are two ways from here. One is through the sideways of the valley, while the other is through a safer side. We preferred the later. The later is comprised of steps through some distance and then a rugged path and again few steps and so on. The real trek starts from here as the steps are steep and we were getting tired. We stopped here and there, but we kept on moving. After a hike of 2 kms, we stopped at the ‘Malola Narasimha Swami temple’. The deity in this temple appears in a graceful form. As the Lord Narasimha is seen with his consort, goddess Lakshmi, he is known as Malola Narasimha Swami. The word ‘Malola’ means beloved to Lakshmi (Ma-Lakshmi, Lola-beloved). This place is also known as Markonda Lakshmi Kshetra.

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There is a path besides this temple which leads us to other interesting place called the ‘Prahalladuni Badi’ (Prahalada’s school) and his cave. It is believed that Prahalada had his schooling here. One can see transcendental letters all over the rocks and these are believed to be etched by Prahalada. We were back on way to continue our forward journey. From the Malola Narasimha Swami temple, we got to see the beauty of those hills covered with the thick blanket of trees. After clicking few photographs, we started walking again. The terrain is getting more rugged. We chose the path through the valley-side from here as we heard that this is like more adventurous and more scenic. Truly, it is!

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The path which we chose is less frequented. There is another way which leads to the Jwala Narasimha Swami temple and most of the pilgrims chose this. The best part is there are sticks available here for the pilgrims for supporting their walk and we can choose one, and for the elderly there are the palanquins made of cloth or wood that will be carried by few people for some money. I mentioned at the beginning of this post that trip is truly a miracle for me and besides we running short of time and without having proper food for a long time, we didn’t run out of our energies. Secondly, we forgot to carry water bottles with us and though we started feeling thirsty at the beginning, this thirst never hindered our foot-steps towards the Lord 🙂 🙂

aho viryam aho shauryam aho bahuparakramah
narasimham param daivam ahobilam aho balam 

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